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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Time to plant spring-flowering bulbs

I have 4 pots on the deck, that in summer are filled with annuals, but in spring, they delight me with flowering bulbs. Two pots are themed in purple and white, and two are in pink and lavender. I've got them planted with petite daffodils, tulips, crocus, hyacinth and grape hyacinth.

The crocus are among the first flowers I see each year. (I actually see primroses before anything else. They can begin flowering in early February in our climate.) They can be up as early as late February. Being on the south side of the house, on the deck and in pots, they come up several weeks earlier than the bulbs planted in the yard.

Friday afternoon, I stopped in at the nursery near us and found bulbs marked down. Whoopee! My pots are full, and the flowers will return in spring, but I'm also working on a small patch in the yard -- bringing more spring color just outside one of the windows.

I bought some pink and white daffodils and some cream-colored snow crocus. The snow crocus are smaller than the giant crocus, but they come up about 3 weeks earlier -- a big bonus to me when I've got the winter blues and am dying to see some trace of spring.

I add to this little spot a bit each fall and again in spring. I'll be adding an hydrangea in the spring. I've got one in a spot in the yard that's a tad too hot and dry. Just behind these spring flowering bulbs will be perfect, I'm hoping.

It seems crazy, when I should be all over autumn, but I'm planning for spring. You know how it is, a gardener has to think ahead, sometimes way ahead. Are you planting any bulbs this fall for spring color?


  1. I haven't gotten around to buying bulbs yet, but maybe you have given me the push I need! I love tulips but I only seem to get a couple of years out of the bulbs and then I need to buy more. Daffodils last forever and we get a ton of crocuses (crocusi?) every spring--and I didn't plant them, they were here when we bought our house 10 years ago! You are so right, a little investment in time and money now can bring a lot of delight in the spring.

    1. Hi Kris,
      For the most part, the tulips do get weaker every year for me, too. I tend to think of them as I do annuals. But there is a type of tulip called Darwin Hybrid that does much better than others. And they come in a variety of colors.

      Mostly I plant daffodils, crocuses and grape hyacinth as they come back and multiply better than any of the other bulbs for me. Why knock a good thing. Now I just have to motivate myself to get out there and pull some weeds so I can plant my bulbs before the weather turns yucky.

  2. I need to replace a bunch of tulips and daffodils because most of mine died off this past year since it was just too dry. Perhaps I'll cruise by the gardening section and see if I can find anything on sale...

    1. Hi Cat,
      So much of the US was so very dry this spring and summer. I imagine there are many folks who will be doing the same thing as you, replacing plants, bulbs and trees. Maybe this next year won't be so hard on gardens! There's always hope.

    2. I just saw an ad that one of the local grocery chains is selling pink tulip bulbs to raise money for breast cancer research. I think I may have to make a stop there tomorrow!

    3. Now that is the kind of fund-raiser I would support! I'll check our local grocery store to see if they're doing something similar. Breast cancer research campaigns like these are often national -- October being Breast Cancer Awareness month and all.

      Thanks for the info on this!

  3. Do you have problems with critters digging in your pots? Squirrels seem to want to dig up anything in ours or plant their nuts in them. I probably won't be planting anything new this fall. However, I hope to divide somethings and relocate others that aren't doing so well in the spot they're in. We'll see. That was what I was going to do last fall also.

    1. Hi live and learn,
      Squirrels do dig around a bit in the pots, but not all that much, probably in part because they have to come up onto the deck, near the house. The squirrels here tend to stay down in the yard. I've had them eat crocus bulbs, but they've never bothered the daffodils.

      I did read somewhere that if deer are a problem, that daffodils are less enticing. Perhaps that would hold true for other critters, as well?

      I have a couple of things I'd like to move as well. I'm hoping I get to it, but right now I'm still dealing with harvesting fruit. Good luck with your gardening projects!

  4. I was planning to purchase my bulbs this week to fill part of the area we encircled with rocks in the Little Cove, but now I'm going to need to put some in pots under my window so I have them closer too me as well. Thanks for the idea.

    1. Hi Lois,
      I really enjoy my pots of bulbs just outside the window. Last winter/spring, I moved a small table and chair right next to that window, so that I could have my lunch while admiring the flowering beauty. I hope you find some nice bulbs for the Little Cove, and for a pot or two.


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